Frequently Asked Questions about POLIVY™ (polatuzumab vedotin-piiq)
Generic Name: polatuzumab vedotin-piiq
Trade Name: POLIVY™
For which conditions is this drug approved? POLIVY in combination with bendamustine and a rituximab product is indicated for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma after two or more prior therapies.
What is the mechanism of action? POLIVY is a novel targeted immunotherapy that combines an antibody with a chemotherapy drug. The antibody binds to a specific protein called CD79b found only on B cells. Once the antibody is bound to the B cells, the chemotherapy drug is released into the cancer cells.
How is POLIVY typically given (administered)? POLIVY is given by intravenous infusion, usually once every three weeks. Each infusion typically takes about 90 minutes.
How are patients typically monitored? Before taking POLIVY, discuss any medical conditions with your healthcare provider. Patients receiving POLIVY are monitored with blood work and other laboratory tests and are monitored for infusion related reactions. POLIVY can harm an unborn baby, so women should not become pregnant while taking this drug. Women who are breastfeeding should not take POLIVY because it may cause harm to a newborn baby.
What are the most common (occur in 20% or more of patients) side effects of treatment with POLIVY?
- Neutropenia (lower-than-normal number of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell)
- Thrombocytopenia (lower-than-normal number of platelets in the blood)
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Decrease appetite
This is not a complete list of side effects. Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed here. Patients may wish to discuss with their physician the other less common side effects of this drug, some of which may be serious.
Some side effects may require medical attention. Other side effects do not require medical attention and may go away during treatment. Patients should check with their physician about any side effects that continue or are bothersome.
What can patients do to help alleviate or prevent discomfort and side effects?
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Certain other medicines may affect how POLIVY works and can cause side effects.
Are there any special precautions patients should be aware of before starting treatment?
Talk to your healthcare provider about any medicines (prescription and over-the-counter), vitamins or herbal supplements that you are taking. Talk to your doctor if you or your partner become pregnant during treatment with POLIVY and discuss effective contraception during treatment with POLIVY.
When should patients notify their physician?
Tell your doctor if you experience any side effects that bother you or don’t go away. This includes extremity numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, infusion reactions, bleeding, infections, fever, confusion, dizziness, loss of balance, change in vision, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea and/or liver injury symptoms.
What is a package insert?
A package insert is required by the FDA and contains a summary of the essential scientific information needed for the safe and effective use of the drug for healthcare providers and consumers. A package insert typically includes information regarding specific indications, administration schedules, dosing, side effects, contraindications, results from some clinical trials, chemical structure, pharmacokinetics and metabolism of the specific drug. By carefully reviewing the package insert, you will get the most complete and current information about how to safely use this drug. If you do not have the package insert for the drug you are using, your pharmacist or physician may be able to provide you with a copy.
Important Limitations of Use
The information provided above on the drug you have selected is provided for your information only and is not a substitute for consultation with an appropriate medical doctor. We are providing this information solely as a courtesy and, as such, it is in no way a recommendation as to the safety, efficacy or appropriateness of any particular drug, regimen, dosing schedule for any particular cancer, condition or patient nor is it in any way to be considered medical advice. Patients should discuss the appropriateness of a particular drug or chemotherapy regimen with their physician.
As with any printed reference, the use of particular drugs, regimens and drug dosages may become out-of-date over time, since new information may have been published and become generally accepted after the latest update to this printed information. Please keep in mind that health care professionals are fully responsible for practicing within current standards, avoiding use of outdated regimens, employing good clinical judgment kin selecting drugs and/or regimens, in calculating doses for individual patients, and verifying all dosage calculations.
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